Intelligence.

 

This actually reminds me of a discussion I had with a left wing friend a couple of months back where it was asserted that conservative people have lower IQs than liberal ones. Of course I started laughing and I said to them, “You do not want to go down the IQ route, just don’t. Stick to asserting IQ tests have no real world validity” and I was pressed on the issue so I rattled off the stats. Europeans have an average IQ of 100, East Asians 106, Sub-Saharan Africans about 70, which is the point at which a person is considered to have learning difficulties in the West and black people in the US have an IQ of about 85, on average. I think middle easterners have an IQ of about 90, if memory serves. Which is why lefties should never talk about IQ. Ever. There’s a whole can of wriggly little worms right there.

It amuses me no end that the race realists are stuck with the idea that the average East Asian is more intelligent than them, but they can’t figure out how it is that the West is more developed. Then again they lack the intelligence to break down the IQ stats to look at the distribution because if they did they’d note something: East Asians all tend to cluster around the average, they’re aren’t many of them in the top of the intelligence distribution. Europeans have a different distribution; there are more geniuses……….and more morons.

I’m generally sceptical of intelligence testing. I don’t doubt that it measures something but I’m not entirely sure that I would call it intelligence. I know enough high IQ dumb people to be quite suspicious, plus I do quite badly on some types of test and spectacularly well on others. So, depending on the test, I’m either a genius or a moron.

I wasn’t doing as well as expected in school. I’m not actually sure how this came about since a low mark, for me, in sciences was about 80%, this was without revision and a stubborn refusal to do homework. Maybe it was that I was getting 80-95% in science and 40% in a mid set maths group, which logically should be impossible: how do you do physics with shit maths, right? Maybe it was that that prompted it, but whatever it was I ended up sat in a classroom with a psychologist and a psychometric test, I presume they were looking for learning difficulties.

Anyway I remember this guy getting really frustrated with me, thinking back I think he thought he had some smart kid who was taking the piss. I remember him saying something like, “Are you trying to make me angry?” and I remember knowing what the expected answer was but feeling that, how can I put this? The reasoning that seems to be expected on a psychometric test is actually doltishly simple and quite bland.

Needless to say rather than finding I had learning difficulties they found that actually I was frighteningly intelligent, but they knew that already because if you’re knocking out 80-99%s on the reg in the top set of the most difficult subjects with nigh on zero effort you’re obviously not retarded. Hence my general scepticism about intelligence testing. That and the paper in Nature last year which basically said that about half of peer reviewed psychology papers can’t be replicated, so basically half of what we thought we knew, we might not. That’s the generous way of saying it. The less generous way of saying it is that half of what we know is, in fact, bollocks.

S and I talk about this occasionally and there’s a consensus between us that really what’s being tested is how someone thinks, not the quality of their thinking. So that kind of linear, in the box style of thinking is probably great for school and undergrad but beyond  that you notice that the people who really advance a field are usually highly creative types who don’t think in a nice, neat, logical, find-the-pattern in the box kind of way but no one would ever call them unintelligent.

I actually agree with Black Pidgeon Speaks, though,: Conservatives are made up, generally, of the really dumb and the incredibly smart. I’m always amazed that dumb people agree with me and yet sort of reasonably intelligent people generally don’t and yet most of my friends are freakishly intelligent and conservative as anything. Thing is we all started out as Marxists.

I find that Marxists and Socialists are, a bit….. sociopathic. They don’t understand what drives human beings. Like for instance they’ll say, “Nationalism is stupid: what does it matter that you’re born in a certain geographical area?”. Then you have to explain to them that, actually, nationalism isn’t about geographic areas, it’s about feeling more connected to people like you than people who are not like you. You’d assume that most adults would understand this. If nothing else you’d think that lefties would understand feeling closer to other lefties than they do to conservatives……….but you try explaining to them the idea of feeling closer to people like you than you do to people not like you, they haven’t got a clue. It does not register.

Once I even had to explain to one why rejection hurts. His reply was that feeling rejected was foolish because you couldn’t expect ever woman to like you. By the end of it I literally wanted to beat the guy to death because he couldn’t understand the idea of really liking someone and really wanting them to like you back and then how much it hurts to find out that they don’t. This is my normal experience of people on the left.

People on the right, like, dare I say it, working class people or thick people, have this innate sense of community and this innate understanding of emotions that I find the left lacks. I bet, though, that all these lefties are like, quite intelligent, borderline aspergers types. Then at the other end of the right wing spectrum are people like me who started out on the left, usually the far left, because its hyper-rationality makes sense to hyper-rational minds but then through experience and learning came to realise that actually it’s all bollocks.

Yes, capitalism is utterly irrational and makes no sense and socialism is a much more rational way of doing things……….but that misses the fact that human beings are irrational, that no centralised system can collate information fast enough to react in real time and that capitalism can cope with irrational human beings and distribute information in real time via the price system.

This realisation is beyond the understanding of, here comes some hypocrisy, those IQ 110, 120, 130, 135, types. They’re smart enough to be able to critique but they’re not smart enough to come up with solutions, which is the general criticism of the left at the moment. Also the mark of real intelligence is doubt and IQ 110-135 types are smart enough to realise that they’re smarter than most, but not smart enough to worry if they’re as smart as they think they are. I endlessly worry that really I’m thick, that I’ve read all these books but I’m still wrong and that I’m missing something. Intelligent people are fuck ups like that.

 

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